Three favorite tourist attractions in Oslo:
1. The Norwegian Folk Museum. I work there because it’s a great museum. And since I work there, it’s a great museum. This is an open-air history museum – the world’s oldest actually. It’s basically a collection of historical buildings from different regions in Norway, complete with real Norwegian guides in real Norwegian national costumes (bunad is the Norwegian word). Of course I kind of have to put my steady summer job (I’ve lost count of how long I’ve been working there) on this list, but I seriously think this is the one museum you should go to, if you only have time (or cash) for one. After a few hours here, you will have experienced Norway on so many levels. There’s a church from the 1200s and several grassy-roofed farmhouses from the 1600s, but you can also see a Norwegian student apartment from the 1980s and a Pakistani-Norwegian apartment from the 2000s. And about half of the visitors to this museum are Norwegians – it’s not a tourist trap, it’s something Oslo-people enjoy doing every summer. Take the 30 bus to Folkemuseet, and while you’re in the area, you can check out the Viking Ships and Kon Tiki, if you have time/money/interest.
2. Vigelandsparken/Frognerparken. This park by Majorstuen metro station goes by two names. Technically, the first refers to the sculpture park by Gustav Vigeland, also known as "the park with all the naked statues", and the second is the rest of the area. Again, this is a good chance to do the touristy things that real Oslo people actually do. As far as I know, Vigelandsparken is a unique art experience. Frognerparken includes a swimming pool, and plenty of those sun-craving, beer-drinking Norwegians I mentioned earlier. Oh, and this is free!
3. The Opera House Sure, you could see an opera or a ballet here. But the building itself is a tourist attraction. It’s brand new, it’s right by the main train station, and you can walk on the roof and have a picnic there – but you can’t drink alcohol or roller-skate. Here’s a three-minute video of the whole building process.
- Summer in Oslo (part one)